Yoga Balance Basics
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Yoga Balance Basics

Yoga Basics with a Focus on Feeling your Center of Gravity and Controlling It

About the Book

Balance Basics sprang from a desire to teach people how to better feel their body and control it.

Sensitivity and responsiveness is something that can be learned and improved upon  and Balance Basics is one of the easiest ways to begin to learn.

Learning to balance is actually about learning to feel and control our relationship with the Earth. The better we can sense this relationship and the better we are at responding, the easier it is to stay balanced.

Balance Basics shows you how to direct your senses so that you can actually feel our relationship with the earth, in particular the relationship where our center of gravity, our foundation and the earth's center are all in one line.

It also shows you how to respond so that if you feel this relationship going out of alignment, you can respond to bring it back into alignment.

There's nothing mystical about it. It's as easy as learning to drive a car, or even a motorbike. The key is breaking it down into easy to understand and easy to assimilate steps with clear instructions on what you are trying to do.

With Balance Basics you don't have to think so much about what you are trying to do, you can get on with doing it.

The actual theory behind Balance Basics is grade 12 physics and dynamics and is very similiar to the idea behind the technology used to weighing trucks.

Instead of the scales being outside of our body, they are actually built in. We just have to learn how to use them.

And the same basic ideas apply in most balance poses. To illustrated this, Balance Basics includes exercises for balancing on the fronts of the feet, balancing on one foot, balancing on the hands in arm balances like crow pose, balancing on the hands in handstand and balancing in headstand.

While the postures range from easy to intermediate, the understanding that balance basics contains is applicable to most balancing poses, even the ones not contained in this book.

About the Author

Neil Keleher
Neil Keleher

Neil Keleher has been teaching yoga since 1999. Prior to that he was an engineer for a few years. He graduated from university with a degree in Systems Design Engineering. And before that he spent five years in the British Army fixing guns.

And that's where he actually first started to learn about balance, by learning to stand with weight even on both feet, in a comfortable position so that he could file pieces of metal accurately. This was part of the trade training for learning to fix guns.

For the last 8 years he's lived in Taiwan. He teaches yoga there, in not very good Chinese. But his saving grace is that he is great at breaking down movements and demonstrating them himself.

He also practices Tai Ji and that too has had a large influence on his understanding of balance, and on how he teaches yoga.

And he also practices Chinese Calligraphy.

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Table of Contents

  • A Note from the Author
  • Introduction
  • Balance Basics
    • Three Uses for Foundation
    • Center of Gravity
    • Control Your Center
  • Making Balance Easier
  • Basic Principles for Balance
    • Principles of Practice
    • Summary
  • Varying Foundations
    • Multipoint and Single Point Foundations
  • Shape Shifting and Single Point Foundations
    • Balancing on the Back Legs of a Chair
    • Shape Shifting to Stay Balanced
  • Shape Shifting and Multipoint Foundations
    • A Question About Headstand
    • Squatting and Staying Balanced
    • Half Moon Revisited
    • Shape Changing in Warrior 3
    • Body Awareness and Staying Balanced
  • Re-Defining Balance
    • Feeling the Force, and Aligning with It
  • Understanding Fear (And Moving Beyond It)
    • Shape Changing for Better Cornering
    • Inversions Made Less Scary
    • Balance Basics Review
  • Pressure Sensors, Feeling Center
    • Sensors, Part of the Standard Package
  • The Difference Between Empty and Full
    • Crow Pose For Beginners
    • Sensing Empty
    • Standing Weight Shift
    • Noticing Your Foundation While Sitting
    • Feeling Empty While Standing
  • Stabilizing Your Foundation
    • Gripping the Floor for Active Feet
    • Practicing Foot Activation
    • Activating the Legs for Stability
    • Practicing Balance and Stabilization
    • Empty and Relaxed, Full and Stable
  • The Bull’s-eye
    • The Bull’s Eye and Balance
    • Balancing Cat Pose (Multiple Bull’s Eyes)
    • Knee Lifting Balance
    • Standing Weight Shifts
    • Rolling Balance
    • Speed Skating and Slow Controlled Falls
    • Single Point Foundations and Controlling Center
  • Creating Unity with Tension
    • Creating Space (and Relaxing it)
    • Adding Tension and Releasing It
    • Stabilizing the Inner Thigh
    • Side Plank
    • Balancing Down Dog
  • Become Present, Practice “Slow and Smooth”
  • A Comfortable Introduction to Inversions
    • Use Rhythm
    • Handstand
    • Bound Headstand
    • Shoulder Stand
  • Learning to Balance in Bound Headstand
    • Failing Safely
    • Getting Your Feet off of The Wall
    • Set Up Your Foundation
    • The Hard Way to Learn Headstand
    • Making the Hard Way Easier
    • Just Plain Easier
  • Balancing in Handstand
  • Summary
    • Have Fun
  • About the Author

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